White Sox Sluggers Then and Now: Remembering Big Klu, Celebrating Abreu
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Sox Power Hitters Span Generations
When Jose Abreu displayed his raw power last night and smashed his team-leading 24th homer of the season and the 60th in his brief big-league career (click on link below), the timing brought to mind All-Star first baseman Ted Kluszewski–a White Sox slugger of a bygone era who was traded to the Sox 56 years ago today. It was a move that added a proven veteran bat to a pitching- and defensive-oriented club that was in the throes of the 1959 American League pennant race–a race the Sox eventually won by five games (read more under Photos of the Day).
White Sox vs. Red Sox at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m. CT, CSN) in the middle game of the three-game set as the Sox look to even the series after a ninth-inning rally came up short in last night’s 5-4 loss. LHP Jose Quintana (7-10, 3.60) for the Sox, LHP Wade Miley (10-9, 4.41) for Boston.
Q is scheduled to make his 26th start of the season, 12th at home and second vs. Boston. He earned the win in his last outing on August 20 at Angel Stadium after allowing two runs on eight hits with two walks and three strikeouts over six innings. With the victory he extended his winning streak to three games.
Quintana is 2-0 with a 1.63 ERA, .167 opponents average and 0.76 WHIP over four career starts vs. Boston. He was the winning pitcher on July 29 at Fenway Park, allowing two runs in 6.1 innings.
Quote of the Day
Robin on rookie Carlos Rodon‘s progress.
“I think for any young guy the later you get into the year and him being in here, you’re always careful to watch it and see what the workload is and where he’s at. I think as of right now he’s only gotten better…I haven’t seen him slow down at all. I haven’t seen his velocity go down. With the command he’s now going out there featuring, it’s gotten better.”
“Sox Serve Week”: Tonight’s Activities
The White Sox celebrate “Sox Serve Week”–its seventh annual fundraising and community outreach campaign formerly known as Charities Week–during each day of the team’s current homestand that runs through Sunday. Presented in partnership with Magellan Corporation, MillerCoors and Wintrust Financial, “Sox Serve Week” engages the Sox fan base through community outreach events featuring current players and special fundraising opportunities including auctions and more.
On tap for tonight:
Major Leaguers for a Day — Two White Sox Amateur City Elite (ACE) program participants will become honorary members of the White Sox for a day. The ACE players will spend time in the clubhouse, stretch with the team, field fly balls during batting practice, exchange the game’s lineup card and receive tickets to the game.
Sox Serve Mini Bat Raffle — Fans have the opportunity to purchase a Sox Serve mini bat and be entered to win a variety of White Sox prizes. Bats are available for sale at U.S. Cellular Field in Sections 101 and 135. Bats will be sold for $10 each or three for $20.
One of last night’s themes was “Home Run for Life” as local youngsters battling cancer got the opportunity to be greeted by members of the White Sox.
White Sox vs. Red Sox at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m. CT, WPWR) in the finale of the three-game series. Probable Starters: LHP Chris Sale (12-7, 3.34) for the Sox, RHP Rick Porcello (5-11, 5.81) for Boston.
Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Sox’ championship season…
In Game 124 on August 25 in Minneapolis, Timo Perez singled in Geoff Blum with the eventual winning run in the top of the 10th inning as the first-place White Sox nipped the Twins, 2-1, for their 77th victory of the season. Jon Garland tossed 7.2 scoreless innings, Dustin Hermanson earned his first victory and Bobby Jenks recorded his first save.
Photos of the Day
On this day in 1959, the White Sox acquired four-time National League All-Star slugger Kluszewski from the Pirates with the hope they would get an offensive boost during the pennant chase. History shows that it was a brilliant decision.”Big Klu,” a Chicagoland native whose cut-off sleeves and bulging biceps were his trademarks, was a signficant factor down the stretch as the Sox won their first American League championship in 40 years and earned a trip to the World Series.
In 31 regular-season games with the Sox, Kluszewski batted .297 (just a tick below his lifetime average of .298) with a pair of homers, 10 RBI and a .351 on-base percentage. In the World Series against the Dodgers, he belted three home runs with 10 RBI in the six-game classic with a .391 batting average and a monstrous 1.266 OPS. Two of his Series homers came in the Sox’ 11-0 victory in Game 1 at Comiskey Park.
A 15-year major leaguer who also played for the Reds and Angels, Kluszewski later served as the hitting coach for the legendary Big Red Machine in Cincinnati–a team that included Pete Rose and Hall of Famers Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Tony Perez. Klu, who batted .326 and led the NL in homers (49) and RBI (141) in 1954 for Cincy, passed away in 1988 at the age of 63–the year after Abreu was born.